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Budget Review - 12/5

December 7th, 2008 at 02:56 pm

I sat down with Mr H on 12/5 and did a budget review for the month of December (so far).

With the budget comprising only Checkbook One, and having just seven categories it's a very limited amount of information. Perfect amount for this type of conversation. (For future reference the categories are Grocery/Cleaning/Personal Care, Gas, Church, Master Card, Bowling and Everything Else.)

I showed him the figures - each category had budget, amount spent and amount remaining. Right away he pointed out that the dollar amount I had started with did not include the Emergency Fund money, but that I had included it on the budget. So we're down to six categories.

He'll be bowling fewer evenings this month because of the holidays. I requested the surplus money go into the "Everything Else" category. Frankly, that category scares me. So far we've spent money on batteries, school pictures for Daisy and a newspaper from that category.

He also noted that the amount we spend on gas should be down with Daisy's school vacation. I won't be driving to school or the extra curricular activities during those days. I haven't paid the master card bill yet, and we've incurred some charges that will be paid from Checkbook Two. He suggested that I just go ahead and pay them now.

We haven't yet gone over budget on any items. It was only the 5th of December, so I should hope not! I plan to take this sheet of paper to him every week.

I guess the frustrating thing for me is that if I didn't bring him the information he wouldn't seek it out. If we are going to stop overspending this account we have very little margin for error, and if we aren't on top of it all the time we will overspend it. But perhaps I'll just be thankful that he engaged at all. That doesn't always happen.

************

The Everything Else category has just $154.55 in it this month. I've projected January and it should have more since we shouldn't have a master card bill next month.

I mentioned what items we've spent this money on this month. Here are some of the items we didn't end up spending this money on:
* Tickets for Daisy's dance performance and the costume fee for that performance. $56. I did some volunteer work for the dance school and didn't expect to be compensated for it, but was given three tickets and had the costume fee waived. Not having to pay for these items was a nice surprise.
* Chicken nuggets at McDonalds. Admittedly this was a completely impulsive thought, but I squelched it. Not sure how much these cost.
* Carpet cleaner. About $20. Our only carpet is about 13' x 10' and old. We are going to try to "clean dangerously" (ie, try carpet cleaning experiments that don't cost anything) before spending the money on cleaner.
* Renewal of annual zoo pass. At $95, this will have to wait.
* Renewal of a magazine subscription. $20. Again, this will have to wait.

6 Responses to “Budget Review - 12/5”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Yes! No MC bill next month. That is fabulous!

    You are doing great and so is DH by engaging in the conversation. Don't get too upset that you have to bring it to him. Better you bring it when you are prepared then to have him ask and not be ready.

    It is also very wise of you to wait on magazine and zoo. Those are definitely not necessitities. How often do you go to the zoo? Could it be skipped for a year or year and a half and purchase in spring of 2010? Keep eyes out for free passes or discount days. On the magazine, do a google search to see if there is a way to find that subscription for less.

  2. Koppur Says:

    Check with your local library for a discount to the zoo. Ours offers discounts on tickets for the aquarium, the zoo, whale watches, amusement parks, and a bunch more. Also, great job skipping the magazine subscription. Maybe make it a point to take the kids to the library once a month. They get books for free adn you can read your magazine for free.

  3. Ms. Pearl Says:

    Good job resisting the chicken nuggets.

  4. gamecock43 Says:

    "I guess the frustrating thing for me is that if I didn't bring him the information he wouldn't seek it out." Thats how it is with BB too! I am always trying to keep him updated because he could go years assuming we have the same amount of money we had yesterday.

  5. Merch Says:

    Keep building off the positives.

    I think in each household, one person is the day to day person. That's me in my family. My wife just wants to know when a few categories she handles are near their limit. She also will let me know of any upcoming expenses.

    I think my wife looked at our actual budget twice.

    I also print her off a summary every month of where we are as far as our goals. I use these reports to say we could reach it quicker if we do this or that.

    I guess what I am saying is keep at and keep your cool. Your doing a great job at keeping him engaged. Just keep moving forward.

  6. Petunia Says:

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! I really appreciate your encouragement!

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